Earthquake survivors still await cash to build shelter

- Post Report, KATHMANDU

Jun 27, 2015-

The District Administration Office in Nuwakot has not yet started distributing cash relief meant for quake survivors.

Chief District Officer (CDO) Umesh Dhakal said the distribution process was delayed owing to discrepancies in the number of quake-affected people in local level. “The number of quake affected household increased significantly and we could not deliver it to the targeted people immediately,” Dhakal said.

According to Dhakal, the number of quake-affected households has surpassed 76,000 against 59,000 households recorded in the 2011 census. “Still, some households are complaining that their names are not included in the list of quake-hit families,” Dhakal said, elaborating the reason behind delay.

Meanwhile, a government team from the Capital has reached the district to verify quake victims. Based on its verification, village development committees, municipalities and the district development committees are distributing identity cards to the survivors. If everything goes as planned, distribution of cash relief will begin on Tuesday, officials said.

Immediately after the April 25 earthquake, the government had decided to provide Rs 1,5o00 out of the total 200,000 cash announced for each quake-hit household rendered homeless to help them construct temporary shelter for the rainy season. The quake-survivors are struggling to get government announced relief though monsoon has already started.

CDOs in quake-ravaged districts say the increasing number of fake victims has affected cash relief distribution in rural areas. “Disputes in the local level regarding fake victims have hampered timely distribution of cash relief,” said Sindhupalchok CDO Bal Bhadra Giri.

Till date, the District Administration Office in Sindhupalchok has reached only 50 out of 68 Village Development Committees. The local authority mandated to distribute cash relief has not been able to complete the task owing to disputes among local politicians over whether or not the recipients are genuine survivors.

In view of providing cash relief in time, the government had released Rs 5.53 billion money to all quake-hit District Administration Offices after the earthquakes.

Lured by the government relief package, people living outside their home district for long have returned and those living jointly are splitting families. CDOs in quake-hit districts estimate as many as 100,000 households are added to the total number of families counted during the 2011 census.

Backed by local politicians, even those families whose houses are okay are applying for cash relief. The number of such households has surpassed the number ascertained by the national census and local household surveys. The surge had stalled relief works in many districts.

Published: 27-06-2015 08:33

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